New Nanomaterial NanoBuds Combines Fullerenes and Nanotubes

first_img Citation: New Nanomaterial, ‘NanoBuds,’ Combines Fullerenes and Nanotubes (2007, March 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Researchers have created a hybrid carbon nanomaterial that merges single-walled carbon nanotubes and spherical carbon-atom cages called fullerenes. The new structures, dubbed NanoBuds because they resemble buds sprouting on branches, may possess properties that are superior to fullerenes and nanotubes alone. They are described in the March 2007 edition of Nature Nanotechnology. Explore further The search for new materials for hydrogen storage “Both fullerenes and single-walled carbon nanotubes exhibit many advantageous properties, but despite their similarities there have been very few attempts to physically merge them. The novel hybrid material we discovered merges the two into a single structure, in which the fullerenes are covalently bonded to the nanotubes,” said Esko Kauppinen, a scientist involved in the work, to Kauppinen is a professor and researcher at the Helsinki University of Technology and the technology development organization VTT Biotechnology, both in Finland.Synthesis of the NanoBuds began with the synthesis of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) in a standard reactor. The resulting SWNTs seemed to be coated with clusters of carbon atoms, but a closer investigation, using an electron microscope, revealed that most of the clusters were actually fullerenes.The fullerenes coating the nanotubes displayed unusual behavior. Using a transmission electron microscope, the researchers saw that these fullerenes did not move around upon the nanotube surface. This in not typical of fullerenes on SWNTs and indicated a strong fullerene/nanotube bond, which was further verified by several tests.The group further probed the NanoBuds’ structure using ultraviolet spectroscopy. The resulting UV spectra showed the attached fullerenes to be similar to C70, the 70-carbon-atom fullerene, which has a slightly ellipsoidal shape compared to C60 and other spherical fullerenes. This deviation from the characteristic fullerene sphere, or “bucky ball,” could have been due to the presence of covalently attached oxygen or hydrogen. Further measurements detected oxygen in each NanoBud, and a round of infrared spectroscopy revealed the presence of two types organic compounds known as ethers and esters. These compounds may act as bridge-like structures connecting the fullerenes to the nanotubes.Kauppinen and his colleagues say that NanoBuds may find use as cold electron field emitters – materials that emit electrons at room temperature under a high applied electric field – due to the fullerenes’ many curved surfaces, which make for better emitters that flat surfaces. Cold electron field emission is key to many technologies, including flat-panel displays and electron microscopes.“We believe that NanoBuds may have other applications, such as molecular anchors to prevent SWNTs from slipping within composite materials,” says Kauppinen. “Additionally, since the optical and electrical properties of the fullerenes and nanotubes can be individually tuned, NanoBuds provide SWNTs with distinct regions of different electrical properties. This could be useful for many applications, including memory devices and quantum dots.”Citation: Albert G. Nasibulin, Peter V. Pikhitsa, Hua Jiang, David P. Brown, Arkady V. Krasheninnikov, Anton S. Anisimov, Paula Queipo, Anna Moisala, David Gonzalez, Günther Lientschnig, Abdou Hassanien, Sergey D. Shandakov, Giulio Lolli, Daniel E. Resasco, Mansoo Choi, David Tománek and Esko I. Kauppinen, “A novel hybrid carbon material.” Nature Nanotechnology 2, 156-161 (2007)Copyright 2007 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of (left) Two transmission electron microscope images of a single-walled carbon nanotube with fullerenes attached to its surface (right) A fullerene/SWNT hybrid structure – a NanoBud. Credit: Esko Kauppinen, et al. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Researchers uncover secrets of miracle fruit

first_img Food peptides activate bitter taste receptors ( — Though not very well known in the United States, at least until the past few years, the miracle fruit is a cranberry like fruit that has the unique property of being able to make acidic or bitter foods taste sweet. And while the protein that makes this possible has been known for quite a while, just how exactly it did its trick has been a mystery; until now. A team of Japanese and French researchers working together have solved the puzzle and have published the results of their efforts in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Miracle fruit, the berry of the Synsepalum dulcificum plant, grows naturally in West Africa and the locals there have long known of its sweetening properties. Pop one of the little berries in the mouth and for an hour, foods like pickles, beer, grapefruit or lime, taste like sweet versions of their former selves. More recently, the effects of the miracle fruit have been popularized by flavor-tripping parties, so named because of the odd sensational resemblance to the effects of hallucinogens. Or as Keiko Abe, one of the team leads, reports, the effect is rather magical.To get to the bottom of how the miracle fruit performs its magic, the team grew human kidney cells in a dish that were engineered to produce sweet receptor proteins. They then applied a chemical that caused the receptor cells to light up when activated. Next, they applied miraculin, the protein in miracle fruit that is responsible for the sweetening effects. After that they added different substances with different pH levels and found that the miraculin had three distinct impacts on the receptors. At low levels there is little effect, at medium levels the miraculin boosted response and at high levels the receptors were activated on their own.This all happens, the researchers say, because the miraculin protein changes shape when exposed to acids. The higher the level, the more it changes shape. And because the protein binds very strongly to the receptors in the human tongue, those changes in shape change the way the receptors react when acids are introduced into the mouth. The bottom line is, the higher the pH level in a substance, the sweeter it tastes to the person doing the tasting.The end result of this research might be the introduction of a whole new kind of artificial sweetener, either as an ingredient, or as an additive by users wishing only to sweeten ordinary foods. And now that the effects of miraculin are better understood, researchers will next try to see if they can create it from scratch rather than having to rely on Mother Nature to grow it for them. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Photo of Miracle berry (Hamale Lyman/Wikipedia) Citation: Researchers uncover secrets of ‘miracle fruit’ (2011, September 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further More information: Human sweet taste receptor mediates acid-induced sweetness of miraculin, PNAS, Published online before print September 26, 2011, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1016644108AbstractMiraculin (MCL) is a homodimeric protein isolated from the red berries of Richadella dulcifica. MCL, although flat in taste at neutral pH, has taste-modifying activity to convert sour stimuli to sweetness. Once MCL is held on the tongue, strong sweetness is sensed over 1 h each time we taste a sour solution. Nevertheless, no molecular mechanism underlying the taste-modifying activity has been clarified. In this study, we succeeded in quantitatively evaluating the acid-induced sweetness of MCL using a cell-based assay system and found that MCL activated hT1R2-hT1R3 pH-dependently as the pH decreased from 6.5 to 4.8, and that the receptor activation occurred every time an acid solution was applied. Although MCL per se is sensory-inactive at pH 6.7 or higher, it suppressed the response of hT1R2-hT1R3 to other sweeteners at neutral pH and enhanced the response at weakly acidic pH. Using human/mouse chimeric receptors and molecular modeling, we revealed that the amino-terminal domain of hT1R2 is required for the response to MCL. Our data suggest that MCL binds hT1R2-hT1R3 as an antagonist at neutral pH and functionally changes into an agonist at acidic pH, and we conclude this may cause its taste-modifying activity. © 2011 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

HighTech fishing net finalist for Dyson Award

first_img Citation: High-Tech fishing net finalist for Dyson Award (2012, August 31) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further More information: … gionId=19&Winindex=0 The rings are big enough for small fish to swim through, but not so big that larger fish can do the same. They are sewn into the net, in effect, creating holes, just at the part of the net where the fish are pushed due to current flow. The rings also light up, helping the little fish see where the outlets are, serving as guide signs. And that’s not all, one variant of the rings uses kinetic energy derived from water rushing through the rings to power the lights, the other uses batteries.The James Dyson Award was established by the James Dyson Foundation to reward innovative designs and to inspire new ways of thinking by college students or those, such as Watson, who have recently graduated. The winner, in addition to worldwide accolades also receives £10,000 for him or herself, another £10,000 for their school and a certificate.Because the rings are made of hard plastic, they prevent the collapse or tears that would occur were the nets to simply have small holes cut in them. Watson has already sea tested the nets, of course, and the results were good enough to push him to the finals. He believes that if commercial fishermen would add the rings to their nets, on average about 20 would be needed for each net, fish populations would rise and fishermen would save time on not having to cull. He expects the rings would cost about £25 apiece once produced in mass quantities. Researcher shows fishing has reduced salmon size in Alaska (—Dan Watson, a Glasgow School of Art graduate, has won the UK leg of the James Dyson award for his innovative fishing net rings that light up and guide smaller fish through nets meant for larger prey. Called SafetyNet, the rings prevent smaller fish being thrown back dead into the sea after being culled. He along with seventeen other finalists will vie for the prestigious grand prize which will be announced November 8. Trawler fishing is where boats move slowly over the surface of the water with nets hanging down to capture fish swimming below. Unfortunately, the nets catch everything in their path, including those that are too small to sell. Fishermen are forced to sort out the big from the small resulting in a lot of time spent and dead fish being tossed back into the sea. Watson, with his SafetyNet, hopes to change that. © 2012 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Statisticians try to calculate probability of another 911 sized attack

first_img Journal information: arXiv (upper) Number of deadly (domestic and international) terrorist events worldwide for the ten year period 1998–2007, and three forecast scenarios. (lower) Fraction of events that are severe, killing at least 10 individuals and its 10-year average (dashed line). Credit: arXiv:1209.0089v1 [] (—In the world of probability and statistics almost anything can be labeled as a percentage of likelihood of occurring; statistics based on actual numbers give rise to probabilistic estimates that in some cases may be very accurate, not so accurate, or impossible to prove one way or another. With such a view, two statisticians, Aaron Clauset and Ryan Woodard have trained their sights on terrorist incidents and the likelihood of them occurring, specifically, the big kinds, like 9/11. They have found, as they describe in their paper they’ve uploaded to the preprint server arXiv, that using tried and true statistical models, that the likelihood of another attack as big, or even bigger, than 9/11, is as likely as not. The basis of any statistical model is data and in this case the data was based on the number of terrorist acts committed between the years 1969 and 2007, which of course included 9/11. The attack on the twin towers in New York stands out of course, as the number of people killed that day was six times more than any other terrorist attack. To first see how accurate any given model might be, the researchers calculated the likelihood of 9/11 actually happening based on prior data using three different types of standard models; power law, exponential distributions and log-normal. After crunching the numbers they say it came down to between an eleven to thirty five percent chance, which they say is reasonable and shows that what happened on 9/11 was not unlikely, statistically speaking, to have happened.The two then applied the same models looking forward into the future and came up with a likelihood of another 9/11 type attack falling between twenty and fifty percent, depending on which model was used and assuming that things remain the same, i.e. the average number of attacks per year (approximately 2000) stays the same. But, realizing that the odds of things holding steady isn’t itself very realistic they also tried factoring in such destabilizing scenarios as rising food prices or things calming or growing worse in two of the current hot spots for terrorism; Iraq and Afghanistan. In such cases the models became truly alarming, indicating that in the worst case scenarios the likelihood of another event as deadly as 9/11 occurring, becomes nearly ninety five percent. Terrorism and the Olympics by-the-numbers: Analysis from UMD-based START Explore furthercenter_img More information: Estimating the historical and future probabilities of large terrorist events, arXiv:1209.0089v1 [] with right-skewed distributions are ubiquitous in complex social systems, including political conflict, economics and social networks, and these systems sometimes produce extremely large events. For instance, the 9/11 terrorist events produced nearly 3000 fatalities, nearly six times more than the next largest event. But, was this enormous loss of life statistically unlikely given modern terrorism’s historical record? Accurately estimating the probability of such an event is complicated by the large fluctuations in the empirical distribution’s upper tail. We present a generic statistical algorithm for making such estimates, which combines semi-parametric models of tail behavior and a non-parametric bootstrap. Applied to a global database of terrorist events, we estimate the worldwide historical probability of observing at least one 9/11-sized or larger event since 1968 to be 11-35%. These results are robust to conditioning on global variations in economic development, domestic versus international events, the type of weapon used and a truncated history that stops at 1998. We then use this procedure to make a data-driven statistical forecast of at least one similar event over the next decade. © 2012 Citation: Statisticians try to calculate probability of another 9/11 sized attack (2012, September 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

New research suggests tropical cyclones could develop on Saturns largest moon Titan

first_img( —Planetary scientist Tetsuya Tokano of Germany’s University of Cologne has found that the right ingredients might exist on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, for the formation of tropical cyclones. In his paper published in the journal Icarus, Tokano says that if one the seas on Titan contains enough methane, then all the conditions could be present for the formation of the mini-hurricanes. What caused a giant arrow-shaped cloud on Saturn’s moon Titan? Titan is Saturn’s largest moon and is the only known natural satellite with a dense atmosphere. Its mass is roughly 80 percent larger than that of Earth’s moon, and because of the great distance from the sun, experiences year-round very low temperatures. And while its body is made mostly of a mix of rocks and frozen water, it has an atmosphere that is mostly nitrogen with some ethane and methane. Titan is also the only known moon in the solar system (besides Earth) to have liquid on its surface, and because of that, rainfall. Tokano believes Titan is capable of spawning tropical cyclones because he thinks one or more of the seas on the moon is not only large enough, but has enough methane in it to give rise to the storms—researchers can’t say for sure whether this is the case or not because past observations of the moon have been obscured by the dense atmosphere, making it difficult to determine what lies below.Tropical cyclones are spinning storms that develop on Earth when warm ocean water evaporates into the air, carrying with it enough energy to spawn spinning storms. On Earth, such storms generally develop around the equator, in the tropics, hence their name. On Titan, things would be a lot different as all of the seas that could be capable of generating such storms are located near its North Pole.In studying the topology of Titan, Tokano noted that the moon has at least three seas that should be large enough to support the formation of tropical cyclones, provided there is enough methane in them. He suggests that when methane evaporates up out of a sea during its summer season, it would carry with it heat that would be converted into kinetic energy—enough to drive the formation of a swirling storm. He notes that over the next few years, Titan will be entering its summer season, providing researchers monitoring data from Cassini—the spacecraft orbiting Saturn—an opportunity to see if the distant moon is indeed experiencing any tropical cyclones. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further More information: Tetsuya Tokano, Are tropical cyclones possible over Titan’s polar seas? Icarus, Available online 8 February 2013 AbstractWhile extratropical cyclones cannot be expected in Titan’s barotropic troposphere, tropical cyclones which gain their energy from the latent heat of sea evaporation cannot be entirely dismissed over Titan’s polar hydrocarbon seas. The most essential condition for the genesis of tropical cyclones on Titan is a methane-rich composition of the polar seas. The most likely season for Titan’s hypothetical tropical cyclones is around the northern summer solstice when the sea surface gets warmer and the relative vorticity of the near-surface air increases by seasonal convergence and equatorial wave activity. A tropical cyclone would manifest itself as an anti-clockwise swirling vortex right over one of the northern seas (Kraken Mare, Ligeia Mare, Punga Mare) and increase the surface wind over the seas by an order of magnitude. On the other hand, tropical cyclones are unlikely to emerge over Titan’s few tropical lakes for dynamic reasons such as negligible Coriolis parameter and large vertical wind shear.center_img Journal information: Icarus Titan’s hazy orange globe hangs before the Cassini spacecraft. Image credit NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute. Citation: New research suggests tropical cyclones could develop on Saturn’s largest moon Titan (2013, March 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2013 Phys.orglast_img read more

The Velkess Flywheel A more flexible energy storage technology

first_img More information: … ( —A new Kickstarter project called Velkess (Very Large Kinetic Energy Storage System) has recently gotten underway to bring an inexpensive flywheel to market. The project is headed by Bill Gray, who has taken a unique approach to flywheel design—a flexible rotor made of “E-glass,” a common fiberglass used in everything from sporting goods to shower doors. Rather than use advanced carbon-fiber composites manufactured to exact tolerances, Gray’s soft rotor flexes in response to destabilizing forces. It is thereby able to adjust to speed transitions that confound other designs. With the memory of other flywheel venture failures, like Beacon, fresh in mind, Gray has cast the issues a little differently. While carbon fiber reinforced polymer is 6 to 8 times stronger than E-glass, he notes that E-glass is 10 to 20 times stronger per dollar. Similarly, E-glass will store 10 to 20 times more energy per dollar. The current prototype floats on a magnetic bearing assembly that can handle 2kW of power, and store 0.5 kWh of energy. Their final device will need storage closer to 15kWh to meet the first projected 48-volt off-grid power backup.This scale up means replacing the 25lb flywheel rotor used for the video footage with a 750lb rotor. Scale-up creates new issues including special production runs for magnets able to support that load, and also equipment to safely handle all that magnetic force floating around. Details of the bearing-motor assembly are still not publicly available. Since the rotor design is essentially cantilevered from the motor in the vertical plane, anything here is possible. For example it appears that the rotor has a low-end speed of 9000 RPM. That would be where it is not even transitioning power. To get to the 15kWh regime, we are probably talking about a max RPM on the order of that of a jet engine. Jet engine speeds are well above even the fastest comparable electric motor speeds. For example, high-speed spindles for machine tools, that might put out anything approaching say 30kW, would probably max out below 10,000 RPM—and these motors can cost over $50,000. Probably some fancy gearing is involved here, and therefore ample opportunity for unique combinations of bearings to be employed throughout the system. Where mechanical bearings are to be used, they can have thermal sensors to detect any rise in temperature that would indicate a failure may be about to occur. The possibility for catastrophe due to fracture in one of the silicon nitride bearings can be therefore be greatly reduced. In an off-grid shutdown, the device would dissipate its energy in the form of exhausted hot air. As the rotor slowed over the course of ten hours, this would be a similar flow as a 1500-watt hair dryer might put out.Gray expects the final units to be comparable in price to lead acid batteries while having a much improved lifetime. Also, the construction materials will be environmentally friendly. The rotor will operate in a vacuum and it is expected that only about 2 percent of its stored power will be lost to friction each day. These numbers make the new flywheel design look like it could be a viable alternative not just to batteries but also to other green schemes like compressed air storage, or pumping water uphill. If the Velkess project can get backing on a scale similar to what these technologies have attracted, flywheels may have finally come of age. Velkess Flywheel © 2013 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Tilting at wind farms Citation: The Velkess Flywheel: A more flexible energy storage technology (2013, April 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore furtherlast_img read more

Nanoscale neighbors First use of transformation optics to accurately analyze nonlocality in

first_imgThe schematic of the problem. A dimer of separated nanospheres where the surface charge smearing is described by an effective cover layer of (A) a constant thickness Δd’, (B) a constant permittivity, εS =1 (shifting the metal boundary by Δd’), or (C) a variable thickness Δd’ and spatially dependent permittivity. Under an inverse transformation, the asymmetric core-shell structure in C can be mapped to a dielectric annulus (shown in D) defined by a dielectric-coated metal sphere and a dielectric-coated hollow sphere. Credit: Luo Y, Zhao R, Pendry JB (2014) van der Waals interactions at the nanoscale: The effects of nonlocality. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111(52):18422-18427. · the fact that the forces depend on contributions from many different frequencies over a range of almost 100eVPendry notes that researchers are only now beginning to explore the consequences of nonlocality in nanoscale surface phenomena, and are in the process of building reliable models. “The nanoscale forces in our paper are just one instance of where it’s important to treat nonlocality, where the main complication is that the response of a system at a given point depends not just on the electromagnetic fields at that point, but on the fields in the surrounding region as well – a problem that many traditional approaches fail to address.”In their paper, the scientists found that nonlocality dramatically weakens the field enhancement between the spheres, and thereby the van der Waals interaction. “van der Waals forces – although long range relative to standard chemical bonds – are only significant when surfaces are quite close to one another,” Pendry explains. “The standard local theory predicts infinite force in the limit that surfaces touch – but of course this is nonsense. Therefore, predictions that make sense and can be compared to experiments need to take nonlocality into account.”Relatedly, the paper states that chemical bonding – while not an explicit concern in this study – will dominate the final approach just before the surfaces touch at a few tenths of a nanometer, at which point direct contact of the charges will come into play through electron tunneling. “The forces we consider are complementary to chemical bonding,” Pendry clarifies, “in that the current theoretical approach to chemical bonds exploits the local density approximation. In other words, just as a study of pure van der Waals forces omits chemical bonding, so a pure local density study of bonds has nothing to say about the longer range dispersion forces that we calculate. Of course, at some stage the two have to come together…but for that to happen we need experimental input – and theoretical studies of the van der Waals forces are the first steps in making this happen.”The approach described in the paper makes analytical investigation of 3D nonlocal problems feasible while providing insight into the understanding of nonlocal effects in plasmonic nanostructures. “Calculations are always difficult when treating singular structures – by which we mean situations such as the nearly touching spheres considered in our paper – but also the interaction of needle-sharp points with surfaces,” Pendry explains. “Using transformations to unravel the singularity reveals how the forces work in each of these situations, and in fact often enables us to show a common origin.” For example, regarding how their results might influence the development of functional subnanometer substrates, he adds that “any nanomechanical system must consider the effects of van der Waals forces – and our paper is an attempt to further our understanding of these problems.”Looking ahead, Pendry tells that van der Waals forces are just the first step in a series of investigations the scientists have already planned. “On the near horizon is heat transfer between surfaces that are close but not in physical contact: Electromagnetic fluctuations responsible for the van der Waals force also enable heat to leap across the gap – an effect different from, and much stronger than, radiative cooling.” (Radiative cooling is the process by which a body loses heat by thermal radiation.) “In the longer term, we’ll try to generalize our theory of quantum friction, whereby surfaces which are close but not in physical contact can experience frictional drag. Nonlocality is also an important issue in the effects.”In closing, Pendry notes that several other areas of research might benefit from their study, given that transformation optics is a very general technique in electromagnetic theory. “The present study is just one in a whole series of applications. We’ve already seen many studies of its application to invisibility, and we have used it extensively to study intense field enhancements in plasmonic structures, such as surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy. In fact, virtually any problem that has electromagnetic radiation interacting with a physical structure could potentially benefit from transformation optics – and in the case of plasmonic systems, nonlocality will always be an important issue whenever surface in close proximity are considered.” Citation: Nanoscale neighbors: First use of transformation optics to accurately analyze nonlocality in 3D plasmonic systems (2015, January 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further · the problem involved several length scales, meaning that they had to take into account the spheres themselves (~10nm) as well as the spacing between them, which they tried to push to the limit of one atomic spacing (~0.2nm) ( —The ubiquitous van der Waals interaction – a consequence of quantum charge fluctuations – includes intermolecular forces such as attraction and repulsion between atoms, molecules and surfaces. The most long-range force acting between particles, it influences a range of phenomena including surface adhesion, friction and colloid stability. Typically a simple task when parallel surfaces are further apart than 10 nanometers, calculating van der Waals forces between, for example, a pair of nanospheres less than five nanometers apart becomes quite difficult. Moreover, the latter scale requires that the effect of nonlocality (the direct interaction of two objects that are separated in space with no perceivable intermediate agency or mechanism) be considered, introducing complexity into, and thereby further hampering, analysis. More information: van der Waals interactions at the nanoscale: The effects of nonlocality, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online before print December 2, 2014, doi:10.1073/pnas.1420551111 Van der Waals force re-measured: Physicists verify nonlinear increase with growing molecular size The absorption spectrum for a dimer of spherical particles. The contour plot of the absorption cross section vs. the frequency and the separation for a pair of gold nanospheres with equal radii of (A) 5 and (B) 30 nm. Comparison of our analytical calculations with local and nonlocal numerical simulations for two closely separated (δ =0:2 nm) gold spheres with equal radii of (C) 5 and (D) 30 nm. Credit: Luo Y, Zhao R, Pendry JB (2014) van der Waals interactions at the nanoscale: The effects of nonlocality. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111(52):18422-18427. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences © 2015 Recently, however, scientists at Imperial College London, London proposed a simple analytic solution, showing – for the first time, the researchers say –that nonlocality in 3D plasmonic systems can be accurately analyzed using transformation optics. (Plasmons are quasiparticles arising from the quantization of plasma oscillations at optical frequencies; by arranging electromagnetic fields in a specific way, transformation optics determines the direction in which electromagnetic radiation will propagate.) The scientists also suggest that their results increase the underlying understanding of nonlocal effects in plasmonic nanostructures.Prof. Sir John Pendry discussed the paper that he, Dr. Yu Luo and Dr. Rongkuo Zhao published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Nonlocality introduces computational complexity which makes doing the calculations difficult,” Pendry tells “We’ve found a workaround that greatly simplifies the calculations by replacing the nonlocal system with a local system that reproduces the results to a high degree of accuracy.” Specifically, the scientists showed that nonlocality in 3D plasmonic systems can be accurately analyzed using the transformation optics approach – the first time that the technique has been applied to van der Waals forces – which they applied to solve the problem of including nonlocal effects when two nanoscale bodies interact. “The key to successfully exploiting transformation optics,” Pendry points out, “is to choose the right transformation. In our case we were able to transform the problem of two nearly-touching spheres into the much more symmetric problem of two concentric spheres.” In so doing, the researchers had to address two challenges: This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Zooplankton filmed eating bits of plastic trash

first_img(—A team of researchers and Verity White (a noted producer and director of nature films) has captured, for the first time on film, zooplankton feeding on bits of plastic—the type that has made its way into the world’s oceans due to human dumping. The team has published its findings in the journal Environmental Science and Technology and has also released the videos they made of the zooplankton in action. In recent years it has come to the public’s attention that massive amounts of trash are being dumped into the world’s oceans and a lot of that trash is in the form of various types of plastics—some estimate as much as eight million tons of the stuff every year goes into the ocean, helping form in some cases, huge trash islands. Plastics can take ten to twenty years to degrade and besides being unsightly, they can cause problems when marine animals eat them. Even after plastic material starts to break down it can cause problems because as it does so, it degrades into tiny particles (microplastics) which it now appears are consumed by zooplankton—a generic name given to a wide variety of mostly microscopic sized organisms that live near the surface in the sea—from crab and lobster larvae to tiny worms and pteropods. To determine if tiny zooplankton ingest plastic particles as they go about attempting to eat their normal diet of algae, the researchers placed copepod specimens in a tank at their lab in Plymouth Marine Laboratory and filmed them as they fed. Such creatures use their legs to create a current which draws algae to them—to differentiate between plastic and other material in the water, the researchers used fluorescent beads which could be seen in both the water and in the bodies of the copepod after they ate them. The researchers noted that the plastic beads remained in the body of the animals anywhere from a few hours to a week, which suggests that in the natural environment, animals that live off zooplankton are ingesting the plastic when they feed, resulting in plastics bits making their way all the way up the food chain. In other experiments, the team reports that other types of zooplankton were also observed ingesting microplastics and that the creatures that ate the plastic tended to ingest less algae, which suggests they would provide less energy to other creatures that feed on them. Journal information: Environmental Science and Technology Citation: Zooplankton filmed eating bits of plastic trash (2015, July 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2015 Explore further More information: Microplastic Ingestion by Zooplankton, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2013, 47 (12), pp 6646–6655. DOI: 10.1021/es400663fAbstractSmall plastic detritus, termed “microplastics”, are a widespread and ubiquitous contaminant of marine ecosystems across the globe. Ingestion of microplastics by marine biota, including mussels, worms, fish, and seabirds, has been widely reported, but despite their vital ecological role in marine food-webs, the impact of microplastics on zooplankton remains under-researched. Here, we show that microplastics are ingested by, and may impact upon, zooplankton. We used bioimaging techniques to document ingestion, egestion, and adherence of microplastics in a range of zooplankton common to the northeast Atlantic, and employed feeding rate studies to determine the impact of plastic detritus on algal ingestion rates in copepods. Using fluorescence and coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy we identified that thirteen zooplankton taxa had the capacity to ingest 1.7–30.6 μm polystyrene beads, with uptake varying by taxa, life-stage and bead-size. Post-ingestion, copepods egested faecal pellets laden with microplastics. We further observed microplastics adhered to the external carapace and appendages of exposed zooplankton. Exposure of the copepod Centropages typicus to natural assemblages of algae with and without microplastics showed that 7.3 μm microplastics (>4000 mL–1) significantly decreased algal feeding. Our findings imply that marine microplastic debris can negatively impact upon zooplankton function and health. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Microplastics endanger ocean healthlast_img read more

Researchers find proof that oysters turn pearls as part of development process

first_img © 2015 Citation: Researchers find proof that oysters turn pearls as part of development process (2015, July 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Credit: NOAA Journal information: Royal Society Open Science This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. For many years researchers and others have speculated on the process that goes on inside of an oyster that results in the formation of a pearl (the only gem produced by an organism), especially the ones that are very nearly perfectly round. Many have suggested that in order for such pearls to come about, it must have been rotated inside the oyster—also markings on many pearls have suggested spinning. But until now, no one has been able to definitively prove that the pearl was turned.Pearls are created in many mollusks, not just oysters, and their development is due to a reaction by the mollusk to an invading bit of material. Because the insides of mollusks are delicate, they need to protect themselves against material that can cause harm—when a bit of sand or silica is detected in the mantel tissue, the mollusk creates a cover for it (called the pearl sac) and adds a material it secretes called nacre (made up mostly of calcium carbonate)—then, according to the researchers, they spin the material to smooth out rough edges.The researchers were able to make this discovery by using a specially modified magnetometer to watch the pearl inside of an oyster as it developed—it allowed for registering magnetic field variations inside the oyster due to magnetic material that was inserted into the pearl center. The setup allowed the researchers to “see” the developing pearl being turned starting after 40 days had passed and continuing on until the pearl was harvested after approximately a year. They report that the pearl was turned at a rate of 1.27° min−1 (averaged over four pearls) and that pearl shape and defects appeared to be impacted when rotating was interrupted.The team also used high magnification techniques to examine patterns that appeared on the surface of pearls during the development process and found that when bumps and grooves appear, the result is irregular notches, whereas those pearls that were more rounded tended to have more precise spiral shapes.center_img (—A team of researchers with members affiliated with institutions in French Polynesia, France and Qatar has finally proved that pearls do spin inside of oysters as they develop. In their paper published in Royal Society Open Science, the team describes their technique and other aspects of peal development they were able to observe. Explore further More information: Yes, it turns: experimental evidence of pearl rotation during its formation, Royal Society Open Science, DOI: 10.1098/rsos.150144AbstractCultured pearls are human creations formed by inserting a nucleus and a small piece of mantle tissue into a living shelled mollusc, usually a pearl oyster. Although many pearl observations intuitively suggest a possible rotation of the nucleated pearl inside the oyster, no experimental demonstration of such a movement has ever been done. This can be explained by the difficulty of observation of such a phenomenon in the tissues of a living animal. To investigate this question of pearl rotation, a magnetometer system was specifically engineered to register magnetic field variations with magnetic sensors from movements of a magnetic nucleus inserted in the pearl oyster. We demonstrated that a continuous movement of the nucleus inside the oyster starts after a minimum of 40 days post-grafting and continues until the pearl harvest. We measured a mean angular speed of 1.27° min−1 calculated for four different oysters. Rotation variability was observed among oysters and may be correlated to pearl shape and defects. Nature’s ability to generate so amazingly complex structures like a pearl has delivered one of its secrets. Pearly perfectionlast_img read more

Best of Last Week—Roundest object ever found taking aim at fake news

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (Science X)—It was a big week for space science as a team with members from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research and the University of Göttingen found that a distant star was the roundest object ever observed in nature—they found that the difference between the equatorial and polar radii of a star named Kepler 11145123 was only 3 kilometers. A team with NASA’s THEMIS mission reported that they had found unusual origins of high-energy electrons that gain energy through electromagnetic activity in the foreshock region. And a team working on the New Horizons mission found evidence that suggested a water-ice ocean lies beneath Pluto’s heart-shaped basin. Also, a Dutch firm unveiled a concept space suit for Mars explorers—Mars One showed off the suits, which are similar to those used by astronauts that went to the moon, but have extra features to deal with the red dust. And a team with Swinburne University of Technology and the University of Cambridge announced that they’d found evidence of a cosmic ‘barcode’ from a distant galaxy that confirms nature’s constancy—showing that electromagnetism in a distant galaxy has the same strength as it does here on Earth.In other news, a team of researchers at the University of Toronto unveiled a new AI algorithm taught by humans that learned beyond its training—they report that the system outperformed conventional systems by 160 percent. And a team at the University of Illinois described how they tweaked photosynthesis to boost crop yield—by boosting levels of three important proteins. A team at the University of Leeds reported on how they discovered a common cough virus that kills liver cancer cells and the hepatitis virus—reovirus, they found, stimulates the immune system, providing help in fighting both ailments. And there was more news about how Google and Facebook are taking aim at ‘fake’ news—which some have said may have actually influenced the outcome of the recent U.S. presidential election.And finally, a type of face that men recognize better than women—a pair of researchers at Vanderbilt University found that men are better at recognizing the faces on Transformer toys. This, the researchers claim, suggests that facial recognition may be more experience-based than thought. Explore further Distant star is roundest object ever observed in naturecenter_img The star Kepler 11145123 is the roundest natural object ever measured in the universe. Stellar oscillations imply a difference in radius between the equator and the poles of only 3 km. This star is significantly more round than the sun. Credit: Mark A. Garlick Citation: Best of Last Week—Roundest object ever found, taking aim at ‘fake’ news and one face men recognize better than women (2016, November 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2016 Science Xlast_img read more

Coffeebased colloids for direct solar absorption

first_img Modeling of thermal performances. (a) Decomposition and analysis of the power components (1D model) for the different configurations (direct and selective surface absorption) at 0.276 ml/s (top histogram) and 0.414 ml/s (bottom histogram) flow rates. Higher fluid speed reduce the thermal losses towards the environment due to lower operating temperatures. The irradiance absorption is not influenced by different mass flow rates hence the design favors the fluid able to capture as high irradiance as possible, namely the G30w50 fluid. (b) Fluid temperature profiles at the outlet section (inlet temperature is constant) obtained with the 2D model. The colloids have lower surface temperature than that of the surface receiver, and top thermal losses are lower. Lower fluid concentrations lead to reduced surface temperature and less sharp profiles. Credit: Scientific Reports, doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-39032-5. Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal energy mostly rely on the indirect absorption of sunlight, where the efficiency is generally limited as a result of major convective heat losses into the surrounding environment. A promising alternative is the direct absorption of sunlight, where a fluid can serve as both solar energy absorber and heat carrier. The advantage of the technique is based on reduced convective and radiative heat losses, since temperature peak shifts from the absorbent surface (indirect absorption) to the bulk region of the carrier fluid (direct absorption). In a recent study, Matteo Alberghini and co-workers at the Departments of Energy, Applied Science and Technology, and the National Institute of Optics in Italy, investigated a sustainable, stable and inexpensive colloid based on coffee solutions to implement direct solar absorption. Results of their work are now published on Scientific Reports. Citation: Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption (2019, March 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Optical properties of the coffee-based colloids (1%, 10% and 100% dilutions in water). (a) Comparison of the spectral extinction coefficient of the coffee-based colloids at different dilutions and a 0.05 g/l suspension of carbon nanohorns in water27. The G30 preparation (100% dilution) is coffee with 2 ppm of copper sulphate and 30% wt. glycerol; G30w1, G30w10 are respectively 1% and 10% volume fractions of G30 in distilled water. (b) Stored energy fraction (EF) as a function of the path length for the three considered coffee-based colloids. Solid lines correspond to the energy fraction obtained with Planck’s black body distribution, while dashed lines that obtained with the AM1.5 standard spectrum. For comparison, the curves for a 0.05 g/l suspension of carbon nanohorns in water are also reported. Credit: Scientific Reports, doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-39032-5 More information: Boyle, G. Renewable Energy: Power for a Sustainable Future. (OUP Oxford, 2012). … 59751?cc=us&lang=en&Matteo Alberghini et al. Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption, Scientific Reports (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-39032-5 Peng Tao et al. Solar-driven interfacial evaporation, Nature Energy (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41560-018-0260-7 Andrej Lenert et al. Optimization of nanofluid volumetric receivers for solar thermal energy conversion, Solar Energy (2011). DOI: 10.1016/j.solener.2011.09.029 , Solar Energy Set-up for the solar absorption tests. (a) Flow chart of the solar collectors design and manufacturing: from CAD model, to 3D-printed collector, to final assembly. During field tests, the performance of the direct solar absorber is compared with that of the traditional flat-plate collector. (b) Scheme of the experimental set-up used for testing the efficiency of the coffee-based colloids for the direct solar thermal energy absorption. Solid lines represent hydraulic pipes for the colloidal flow; dashed lines electric wires for data acquisition. Credit: Scientific Reports, doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-39032-5. The scientists conducted characterization studies of the optical properties of the proposed colloids relative to the extinction coefficient and calculated the stored energy fraction of the fluids. They derived the extinction coefficient in the study as the sum of absorption and scattering coefficients for a given wavelength. The scientists recorded an extremely intense optical coefficient for the G30 fluid, which they credited to the coffee content. The height of recorded peaks decreased with increased water dilution. Thereafter, Alberghini et al. calculated the stored energy fraction of the solutions based on the incident solar radiance and the penetration distance into the fluid, known as the path length. The G30 fluid had the highest stored energy, which gradually decreased with the increased dilution of water. Synthesis of coffee-based colloids. (a) Coffee pot moka used for coffee preparation (top-left); size distributions of the suspended coffee particles (top-right); Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) images of the coffee particles (bottom). (b) Colloids with different G30 concentration (from right to left): pure G30 fluid (56.17 g/l of suspended particles); G30w10 fluid (10% dilution); G30w1 fluid (1% dilution in water); pure water. Credit: Scientific Reports, doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-39032-5 In addition, Alberghini et al. developed and validated numerical models against the experimental data. For this, they used two models; 1) a one-dimensional model based on an electrical analogy and 2) a two-dimensional computation fluid dynamics (CFD) model. They reported that optical losses did not depend on the flow rate, but on the optical properties of the flowing fluids and the material composition of the collectors. The scientists maintained the efficiency of the collector by striking a balance between heat absorption and reflection for optimal thermal performance. , Nature Energy In the present work, Alberghini et al. first conducted optical characterization of the proposed coffee-based colloids. Since coffee is a complex substance, the scientists used Arabica coffee prepared in an aluminum coffee maker known as ‘moka’ for stovetops, for consistency. They followed a protocol to prepare ‘student’s coffee’ allowing increased caffeine particle suspension in water and conducted scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to assess particle size distribution in the resulting solution. Then they introduced glycerol to the preparation to lower its freezing temperature for use outdoors in cold or freezing climates. Finally, the scientists added copper sulphate (CuSO4) to reduce risks of alga or mold formation in the liquid. They considered five variants of the proposed colloid for the experiments that were stable during the entire time-frame spanning six months. The five variants were the primary colloid solution containing glycerol (30 % w/v) and CuSO4 (2 ppm), which the scientists named as G30, followed by 1 percent, 10 percent, 20 percent and 50 percent volume fractions of G30 in distilled water named as; G30w1, G30w10, G30w20 and G30w50 in the study. Novel form of graphene-based optical material developed The scientists then experimentally investigated the photothermal performance of the coffee-based colloids compared to a selective absorber with specifically designed solar collectors. They used similar geometries in the experiments to study both direct and indirect absorption of sunlight. The scientists first designed the solar thermal collectors using computer aided design (CAD) software prior to their manufacture. During direct absorption, colloids flowing in the channel directly absorbed sunlight. For indirect absorption, Alberghini et al. mounted a selective surface absorber on the collector for water to flow through the underlying channels. Using a peristaltic pump, they provided constant fluid flow through the channels and controlled the inlet temperature of the fluid using a thermostatic bath. To compare the efficiency between the two collectors, they calculated thermal losses and optical efficiency through energy conservation in the system. They also tested the colloids at three different flow rates and reported the corresponding mean optical efficiency of the fluids to the flow rates. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. In the work proposed by Alberghini et al. the colloid consisted of distilled water, Arabica coffee, glycerol and copper sulphate to optimize the properties and biocompatibility of the fluid. The scientists analyzed the photothermal performance of the proposed fluid for direct solar absorption and compared its performance with traditional flat-plate collectors. They showed that the collectors could be precisely tailored and realized with 3-D printing for the experimental tests.Existing carbon-based nanocolloids have presented drawbacks, despite promising thermo-physical properties suited for direct solar absorption, as a result of cytotoxicity and harmful impacts on the environment. In pioneering experimental work, researchers have therefore used a black fluid containing India ink in water (3.0 g/l) for direct solar thermal energy absorbance. They observed an encouraging performance, which lead to the use of nanocolloids also known as nanofluids to allow direct solar absorption. The fluids are typically characterized by a suspended phase that is able to confer enhanced photo-thermal properties to the base of the fluid. If opportunely designed, these nanocolloids will have promising potential for solar-to-thermal conversion. Photo-thermal performance. (a) Results obtained for the optical efficiency of the proposed coffee-based colloids at different dilutions (10%, 20% and 50% G30 volume fraction in water) and of the selective surface absorber. The average value obtained at steady state (5 minutes sampling frequency) for three different flow rates (0.138, 0.276 and 0.414 ml/s) is reported. The error bars have been obtained via uncertainty quantification on the experimental data and on the model parameters. (b) Time evolution of the experimental optical efficiency of the G30w50 fluid (black), of the selective surface (blue) and of the irradiance (red) for the experimental test at 0.138 ml/s flow rate. Credit: Scientific Reports, doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-39032-5. Journal information: Scientific Reports © 2019 Science X Network In this way, Alberghini et al. showed that the proposed coffee-based colloids showed competitive optical and thermal properties for direct solar absorption. The experimental results agreed with the numerical models, validating these fluids to perform similarly to the traditional indirect absorption technique. The scientists found that during operation, the optimal dilution guaranteed the best energy storage capacity. The results will pave the way towards developing an unconventional family of biocompatible, environmentally sustainable and inexpensive colloids for solar applications. The scientists propose using the technique in additional solar-based applications such as:Solar-driven evaporationSeawater desalinationDomestic water heating, and Sustainable solar cooling. Explore furtherlast_img read more

Delhi flexes green fingers for kitchen gardens

first_imgSouth Delhi Municipal Corporation Mayor Savita Gupta inaugurated today Delhi’s biggest two day Food and Nutrition show organised by All India Kitchen Garden Association (AIKGA) in A block Defence colony in South Delhi.While inaugurating the show Mayor Savita Gupta appealed to the citizens to plant maximum number of trees and nutritional plants so as to improve the environment of Delhi. So far SDMC has planted about one lakh trees and 2.7 lakh shrubs in the various parks of of SDMC. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’‘This year AIKGA has shifted the focus and theme of the show on gardening for health , nutrition and food preservation instead for usual display of fruit, vegetables and flowers. Various chapters of the association in Delhi and National Capital Region will be presenting whole range of nutrition food and related recipes to meet the needs of changing lifestyle ‘said Bella Gupta, Secretary, All India Kitchen Garden Association (AIKGA) while speaking on the occasion . Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix‘Professional Nutritionists from various institutes including Lady Irwin, PUSA Institute of hotel management and catering and eminent clinical nutritionist Ishi Khosla are participating and have given demonstration, lectures and advice on Nutrition for health and related issues,’ says Gupta.‘The other highlights of the show are demonstration and workshop on salad preparation, Juice therapy, Ayurvedic cooking, vegetable carving, general nutrition and cooking tips. A painting competition on health and nutrition will be another major attraction during the during the show’ said Gupta. Pick up the tools and head over!last_img read more

Valour victory and voices

first_imgEvent was organised by Citizens for Forces, an NGO, at Central Park in the heart of the Capital.Singer Shamsher Mehndi and sufi-band Panchtarni brought alive the memories and patriotic rhythms with their soulful music. A crowd of several hundred people along with retired and serving Armed Forces officials also occupied the seating area as the band performed. MP and BJP spokesperson, Meenakshi Lekhi graced the event by her presence. ‘The idea of this evening is not only to celebrate the valour and victory of our soldiers, but also taking time out to think about war veterans and families of war heroes who died on the battlefield. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Let’s not forget our heroes and work towards ensuring that they and their families get looked after. To all citizens, I request to mark this date as one to honour all our soldiers. It will ensure our borders are safe and our nation is sovereign’, Lekhi noted. Ankit Gupta, head of Citizens for Force said, ‘We have been wanting to host an evening like this for several years, taking this day outside newsrooms to people, to make them mark it on their calendar and remember the bravery of the soldiers in the history of this country. I am glad we got the necessary support to start this and I promise to mark this day with something special, annually’. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe evening also marked the presence of Tiger Hill hero Brigadier Khushal Thakur, who was the commanding officer of 18 Grenadiers that won back both Tiger Hill and Tololing Pass in the war. Col. Anil Kaul – a Vir Chakra awardee in 1987 who sustained 80 per cent disability during the war including a damaged eye where he now carries a proud patch was also present there. A t-shirt and memorabilia range to celebrate the war heroes was also launched where Lekhi declared that the money collected from these would be donated to the Military Hospital in Pune, to treat wounded soldiers and she would ensure the money was utilised for the correct purpose.last_img read more

Drug racket busted 4 held including two 19yearold girls

first_imgKolkata: In a major breakthrough, Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has busted a drug peddling racket in South Kolkata, which involves students of class X from an open school.Two of the total four arrested persons are 19-year-old women and they are also allegedly involved in escort services. They used to supply drugs at different parties and night clubs. Police recovered LSD blots and ganja from the accused.Acting on a tip off, officers from the Kolkata zonal unit of NCB conducted a raid and picked up one of the 19-year-old women, who is a student of class X in an open school. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe officers seized 0.2 gram LSD blots and 2.8 kg ganja from her possession. She took the investigating officers to one of her childhood friends, saying that she had supplied the same to her. The police also picked up the other women. Both of them were known to each other for the past many years as they studied in a well known boarding school in Kolkata. The investigating officers came to know about two others – Prashant Basnet (22) and Dibyendu Roy (32) – who were also involved in the racket. The duo were subsequently arrested. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedPrashant, who is a resident of Picnic Garden area, was also pursuing studies of class X from an open school. It was Prashant who had taken the consignment from Dibyendu and handed it over to the women, who took it to the actual buyers at different private parties and clubs.Investigation revealed that Dibeyndu is a resident of Dum Dum Park area near Lake Town and he pursued a diploma course in Information Technology in post graduation from a college in Bangalore. Dilip Srivastava, Zonal Director of NCB, stated that investigation has revealed that Dibeyndu has some friends in Bangalore who supplied him with the LSD. He used to procure LSD on a regular basis and used to sell them in the Kolkata market. 0.37 gram LSD blots were also recovered from his house.Dibeyndu was earlier arrested by the Central Crime Branch of Bangalore Police in 2015 on charges of smuggling drugs along with a gang of two other college dropouts manikantan and Jag Sai Parvesh.last_img read more

I live to paint I paint to live says SH Raza

first_img“I paint by divine grace. By God’s grace. I believe I cannot paint without this deep faith in God, creativity and imagination. I follow simple regime: I live to paint; I paint to live. As long as you have the creative fire in you, age cannot deter or stop you,” Raza said.Recipient of the Padama Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian honour, Raza still paints with the same enthusiasm that he displayed several decades ago, and credits his “creative fire” for the uninterrupted strength. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The current collection of canvases and paperwork’s that the artist has worked on in the last one-and-half-years has been displayed on the walls of the Vadehra art Gallery in  show titled Aarambh. The exhibition is on till March 18.While the bindu (dot) remains the centerpiece of all his works, Raza sees these as continuum of his previous works.“My works should be seen as continuum. They are in my own tradition except that I hope they offer new explorations, fresh insights and exciting combinations” Raza said. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“Bindu, as I have often said, is the centre of silence, energy and imagination. It is inexhaustible and yet it remains as a challenge to any creative imagination, including mine. I keep on returning to it since it offers new possibilities and new combinations,” he added.Unlike his masterpieces like Tribhuj (triangle) or Prakarti Purush (male/female energy), Raza hasn’t chosen any  particular theme this time to weave magic on the canvas. In fact, his preoccupation with colours comes out well in the exhibition. “It is difficult to describe themes. There are so many. Yet, I could say that my preoccupation is colour – its immensity, its immense possibilities. Colour for me is primary manifestation of life, existence, creativity and imagination,” Raza said.While on the surface his works might not evoke an immediate reaction, but Raza’s compositions are rooted in the hope and belief that “truth triumphs and peace prevails”.“Arts also literature and other forms of creative expression ultimately offer you site of equality and justice, of beauty and peace. Art demolishes many boundaries,” he said. “I see that there is a better climate for creative arts but also attempts to curb freedom of expression are unfortunately growing. I feel enthusiastic about the first and unhappy about the second,” Raza added.last_img read more

Ahead of 2019 polls Modi to join 3 BJP rallies in Bengal

first_imgKolkata: Focusing on the 2019 general elections, the BJP will hold three massive rallies in the state which will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi towards the end of this year, said West Bengal chief of the party Dilip Ghosh on Tuesday. Ghosh said apart from these three “Jansampark” (connecting with people) rallies, similar rallies will also be held in all the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha constituencies in Bengal, demanding reinstatement of democracy and speeding up the state’s development. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life “There will be three or four ‘Jansampark Yatras’ in Bengal towards the end of this year, ahead of the 2019 general elections. The rallies will focus on reinstating democracy and speeding up the development of Bengal under the leadership of Modiji. The three big rallies will conclude in Kolkata in the presence of PM Modi,” he said. Claiming that a lot of people are joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state every day, the party leader said the party’s membership drive through missed-call on a cell phone number will be relaunched in the state from August to September this year. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed “There will be training sessions for the party’s grassroot level organisers. The activists and leaders who have joined BJP from other political parties will be given the opportunity to work for party’s betterment,” he said. Referring to the BJP’s success in the state rural body elections this year, he said the party is appointing several of the new joinees as observers in different districts to formulate strategies for the hung Panchayat seats. “Our party has won in 300 Gram Panchayat seats while it has the chance to formulate Panchayat boards in 100 more seats. Our aim will be to stop Trinamool Congress from forming the boards in the hung Panchayat seats. Either BJP will try to form the board, or we will look for suitable alternatives,” Ghosh said. The state BJP chief also stated that his party leadership is focusing more on the common people to join it rather than trying to lure heavyweight leaders in Bengal as that would help them build a robust party structure. He claimed that the BJP’s strategy to bank upon the masses rather than leaders without people’s backing will take them ahead of the state’s ruling party in the future. “Trinamool took some senior leaders, MLAs and MPs from other parties during their Martyr’s Day rally, but these leaders do not have backing and support of common people. The BJP is focusing on taking such leaders who can bring in hundreds of their supporters along with them. This basic difference between Trinamool and BJP’s strategies will be the deciding factor in Bengal politics,” Ghosh claimed. “We initially thought that without heavyweight leaders, the BJP will not be able to grow in Bengal. But now we can see that thousands of general workers are joining us every day which is leading to significant growth of the party. The CPI-M and the Congress’ support base are becoming hollow,” he added.last_img read more

Get pampered this monsoon

first_imgRecently, a number of spas have sprung up in and around the national Capital, offering a wide range of health and beauty treatments which will help one relax.Our skin accelerates its natural aging process, if constantly subjected to environmental elements. Monsoon shoves summer out, but it can spell doom for your hair and skin. An epitome of luxury, Imperial Hotel has introduced a large variety of luxurious skin and hair treatments at the Imperial Salon. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ These include Citrus Drench -body scrub and wrap which is available for resident guests only from July to September. It helps one rehydrate and rejuvenate the skin with the citrus sensory experience which includes exfoliation & a firming hydrating antioxidant wrap. This body treatment prevents the sun damaged skin from premature aging and is ideal to treat stretch marks, leaving your skin radiant and even-toned. Allow 60 minutes at Rs 6,000 plus taxes to get an exhilarating experience.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWhereas, Kerastase experience ritual (for both resident and non-resident guests) would help in providing shine, nourishment, protection and resistance for the hair. This treatment is available throughout July and August. This is a ritual which combines a customization of treatments and massage techniques that best suits you to make you feel relaxed and beautify your hair. Kerastase hair product strengthens the hair and seals it internally and reconstructs it while externally sealing your weak hair fibers. One can rejuvenate and pamper oneself at the cost of Rs 3200 plus taxes with an added discount of 15 per cent. A spa can be pampering, rejuvenating, nurturing, caring, and calming. You can regain your inner balance and manage stress, enhance feelings of tranquility and well being, and heal.last_img read more

Indian fashion is like a pendulum Anamika

first_imgThe queen of drapes, Anamika Khanna has always been a bit of an enigma. In a candid conversation with Millennium Post at Ogaan, in the national Capital, where a large room features Anamika Khanna with her Indian bridal and contemporary collections, she discusses her ideas on fashion.Q. You are known for your signature pieces like the dhoti sari and capes. Are you planning to present a new must-have garment structure?I am hoping the new development will go in that direction!  You will see a lot of innovation. It’s  theme that allows me to push myself and try new things, yet keeping my own signature. There’s a lot of deconstruction I am working with, which I have not done before. You will see structure and fluidity at the same time. I want to create a timeless collection. It’s got nothing to do with the season, or get defined by anything. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Q. What’s the best thing about being a fashion designer? What defines your style?The fact that every day you see your dreams taking shape! The design process from the birth of concept to the final production takes many months. Researching current fashion trends and making predictions of future trends is the first step in creating the design. I have been instrumental towards the modernisation of Indian craft through my modern wear made from Indian textiles. I have reinterpreted the Maharashtrian nine-yard sari to create dhoti-pants.   Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThey are actually dhoti style saris and have become the signature creations of ‘Anamika Khanna’. They have been worn by leading Bollywood superstars like Sonam Kapoor on multiple occasions. I have set a new trend through draped saris. Loved introducing the tulip drape, the wavy drape, and the two-pallu-in-dhoti drape. To sum up, my style is quiet, subtle, experimental and bold.Q. What are your views on the current Bridal trend in our society?Brides today are asking for a change. While they stick to certain traditions, they are experimenting with new shapes and colours. Unfortunately, there is also this race, where more is less. I do not believe in the concept of trend. According to me, I cannot restrict myself to a particular trend. My job calls for developing trends, rather than following them. Besides this, it is totally a bride’s decision on which kind of outfit she wants to carry, from a dhoti sari to a lehenga coat, which is a perfect mix of Indian and global fashion. Q. You came at a time when fashion was all about colours. How did you manage to bring understated elegance into the industry?Honestly, I love colours too. Though I feel overdosing it everyday is a problem. I stick with what I believe in and that pays off. Women today are educated, well traveled and independent. It’s not difficult to bring change. The colour palette was in my traditional style: ivories and blacks, with deep reds and colours thrown in. My love for all things gothic had been replaced by a new love for baroque, adding a real vintage feel to modern silhouettes. Fabrics were mainly light and often diaphanous, adding a sense of romance. My stand-out technique was the use of appliqué that resembled flower petals. Q. What do you think is India’s future when it comes to Fashion?I feel fashion in India is like a pendulum. It swings towards serious fashion then falls back into the same excessive rut. Fashion needs to be taken more seriously. There is great merit in the slow production of clothes, not least because the process means that the garments produced are unique, intricate and therefore carry great value. This is of course not to say that garments produced by machine are inherently less valuable but that in our fast-paced society where we demand instant gratification it is nice to take a step back and appreciate the time and immense effort that still goes into creating some of our clothing. Both machine-made and handmade fashion has pros and cons and ultimately in order to meet the demands of our very modern society it is imperative that both exist.last_img read more

Allocation for EastWest Metro comes down in Union Rail Budget

first_imgKolkata: The Rail Budget presented by acting Union Finance minister Piyush Goyal on Friday has come up as a mixed bag for the ongoing Metro projects in the city. The allocation in some projects has gone up, but the long-length Metro projects have been allocated less.The allocation for the East West Metro has come down from Rs 1,100 crore in 2018 to Rs 905 crore this year. However, the Budget has allocated Rs 10 crore for extension of the EW Metro from Central Park to Haldiram. It is a new project proposed by the state government early in 2018 as an extension of the East West Metro Railway. The move was geared to reduce the traffic pressure on VIP Road. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedA detailed project report (DPR) for the extension was prepared and Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Limited (KMRCL) that was implementing the EW Metro project approved it, following which the Centre’s nod was sought. The original EW Metro project was from Sector V in Salt Lake to Howrah Maidan. According to the plan, there will be five new Metro stations along VIP Road, namely Baisakhi, Kestopur, Baguiati, Raghunathpur and Haldiram’s. The 6.7 km extension upto Haldiram’s will lead to an additional cost of Rs 1,347 crore. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata Bose”We have made it clear to the railways that the plan of the extended part of the project has been chalked out in such a way that there will be no trouble with land. If railways follow our proposed plan for the extension then there is no need to acquire land,” a senior official of the state Transport department said. The Budget for another big Metro project from New Garia to Kolkata Airport has also seen a drop of Rs 10 crore in comparison to 2018. Last year, the allocation was Rs 355 crore, which has come down to Rs 345 crore this year. Meanwhile, the allocation for the Joka-BBD Bag Metro project remained the same with Rs 100 crore. The proposed Baranagar-Dakshinsheswar Metro project received a boost with an allotment of Rs 65 crore this year. Not a single penny was allocated for this project in 2018. The allotment for the project from Noapara to Barasat also saw a rise from Rs 187 crore last year to Rs 225 crore.last_img read more

Irregular fasting can help in weight loss

first_imgAre you obese and worried about your excess weight? Take heart. New research suggests that with irregular fasting and a strictly controlled diet, you can lose more weight and improve your health too. The study showed that women who fasted intermittently as well as restricted their food improved their health more than those who only restricted their diet or only fasted intermittently. Obese women who followed a diet in which they ate 70 per cent of their required energy intake and fasted intermittently lost the most weight. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Continuously restricting their diet is the main way that obese women try to tackle their weight,” said lead author Amy Hutchison, from the University of Adelaide in Australia. “This study is adding to evidence that intermittent fasting, at least in the short term, may provide better outcomes than daily continuous diet restriction for health and potentially for weight loss,” added Leonie Heilbronn, Associate Professor at the varsity. By adhering to a strict pattern of intermittent fasting and dieting, obese women have achieved significant weight loss and improvements in their health such as decreased markers for heart disease, said the paper, published in the journal Obesity. For the study, the researchers involved nearly 100 women aged between 35 and 70 who were overweight or obese. They followed a typical Australian diet consisting of 35 per cent fat, 15 per cent protein and 50 per cent carbohydrate over 10 weeks.last_img read more